What is the ruling of a transgender person?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net
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I humbly request your assistance on the following:

  1. A youth, 16, took shahada in a special treatment centre facility. She seems to be firm on her belief in Islam but has some serious depression issues. Her father is not in the picture for her and her mother is angry that her child has become Muslim. The main question is that the girl was born a boy. She is a transgender. I do not know if the youth has any reconstructive surgery to date. The case worker for this youth is sympathetic to the 16 year old but needs info concerning the Islamic view on Muslim transgender people, (as well as gays and lesbians who later become Muslim). Those Muslims assisting the case worker do not want to lead the youth away from hidayat but towards it with compassion and correct information.
  2. Another situation concerning transgender individuals:

How does one determine where they stand in the lines for salah?
How does one determine whether they enter the women’s or men’s sections of the masjid or toilet facilities?

Jazakallahu khairah for your time and effort in answering these questions.


الجواب و بالله التوفيق

As Salaamu Alaikum,

First of all, it must be understood that ‘transgender’ is totally haram in Islam and hence, not permissible. This act, in reality, is changing the way Allah created a person, and showing displeasure with the gender which a person has created to be.

If Allah Has created a person to be a male, then he is a male, regardless of how he feels about himself, and in spite of the feminine manners, traits and hair style he may adopt. Thinking that he is a female, when he has been born a male, is no reason to want to change his sex or have an inclination to want to be, or behave as a female. This is not acceptable at all in Islam. A male who adopts the ways, pattern of conduct, dress and speech of a female is an effeminate person, who has been cursed by the Prophet (SAW). In this regard, Abdullah bin Abbas (RA) said, ‘The Prophet (SAW) cursed effeminate men (those who are assume the way of women), and those women who assume the ways of men. He said, ‘Turn them out of your houses’. (Sahih Al Bukhari 5856).

If you say that this person is a transgender who was born a boy, then if no reconstructive surgery was done, then this person is a male. He cannot be a female on account of his thoughts, feelings, ‘make up’ and external appearance. Seeing that this person has accepted Islam, then he should be asked to make sincere Taubah (repentance) and ‘leave off’ the lifestyle he has developed.

He must understand that Allah made him a male and he will always be a male until he dies. This is the decree of Allah for him. Trying to emulate and imitate a woman, and having a strong feeling and inclination to be like them, is totally Haram in Islam and will bring about Allah’s wrath and punishment.

If this person abandons his past ways and begins to live and behave as a male, and changes himself to the extent that no type of ‘Fitnah’ is feared from him, then this person can attend the masjid. As a man, he will be on the men’s section of the masjid and go to the men’s toilet facilities.

If the person actually had a reconstructive surgery, then in Islam, this is totally unacceptable. This person’s case poses a serious problem to both sections of the mosque (the male and female sections). The women will feel very uncomfortable knowing that the person is really a biological male, who reveals himself as a female, and the men will feel very uncomfortable having an ‘externally made up female’ with them, performing Salaah.

This person also, on account of the appearance, would not want to be on the men’s section in the masjid or in the men’s toilets. In this case, if the person accepted Islam, he must then make Taubah to Allah for what he has done with himself, and try his best to mend his ways. With respect to visiting the masjid, this person must refrain from doing so. In this way, no one would be put to ‘fitnah’ and no one will be in an uncomfortable situation. The person should perform the Salaah at home.

In the case of Gays and Lesbians, if they have accepted Islam or have been Muslims (while engaged in such conduct), they must stopped themselves from this style of living. They must be taught that these are totally haram and cannot be done as Muslims. If they repent and mend their ways, and have changed themselves to the extent that no ‘fitnah’ is feared from them, then they may attend the masjid. Males will be on the male section and females on the female section.

If they have not mended their ways and have not changed their lifestyles, then they must be disallowed from attending the masjid. While encouraging the youth and those with the above mentioned problems to change their ways after becoming Muslims, wisdom and understanding must be used in conveying the correct information. However, the laws of Islam must not be compromised.

And Allah knows best,

Mufti Waseem Khan